This class is for beginning and experienced fiction writers interested in practicing their craft. This dynamic, interactive workshop will focus on methods and techniques of developing compelling and memorable characters in all forms of fiction writing.
What do Atticus Finch, Jay Gatsby, Clarissa Dalloway, Dumbledore, and Winnie the Poo have in common? All are unforgettable characters! What does it take to create characters that live in the hearts and minds of readers long after they have read your story? This Fiction Taster Workshop will introduce you to a variety of characterization techniques and methods to help anchor your fiction in unforgettable characters. We’ll study the masters, dig into your imagination, brainstorm new ideas, and get in plenty of practice. Each participant will leave with a better understanding of compelling character development as well as a few new fictional companions who might just play a leading role in your next story!

Instructor: Shelley Read

Shelley Read’s love of the written word began as a young child obsessed with writing short stories, poetry, and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder. She went on to complete a double major BA in English and Journalism from the University of Denver where she was also editor of the Foothills Literary Journal and the DU Clarion. Shelley earned an MA from the Temple University Graduate Creative Writing Program, where she was also a teaching fellow, Temple Rome campus fellow, and editorial assistant at Temple University Press. She then returned to the University of Denver’s PhD in Literary Studies program on a full teaching fellowship to study 19th and 20th century literature.

Shelley moved to Crested Butte full time and began teaching at Western State Colorado University in 1991. She has recently retired from Western after decades of teaching writing, literature, Honors, and environmental studies and receiving numerous teaching awards, fellowships, and grants. She has been a staff writer for The Denver PostCrested Butte Magazine,Mountain Kids, a frequent contributor to Gunnison Valley Journal, and has edited several books. She is a proud mom, mountain goat, and world traveler who has just completed her first novel and is joyfully at work on two new books. Shelley’s experience, kind heart, and enthusiasm for every student’s success make her classes an experience not to be missed!